Men killed at Knowsley Sonae factory on Merseyside named

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Thomas Elmer (left) and James Bibby
Image caption,
Thomas Elmer (L) and James Bibby are believed to have been dragged into the chipboard silo

Police have confirmed the names of the two men who died at the Sonae chipboard factory at Kirkby on Merseyside.

It is understood Thomas Elmer, 27, and James Bibby, 24, both from Rossendale, Lancashire, died when they were dragged into a giant silo.

The men, who died on Tuesday, worked for a company which maintains machinery at the chipboard factory.

The plant has faced four previous health and safety inquiries in the past decade, amassing £132,000 in fines.

Family tributes

Merseyside Police said its investigation into the deaths was continuing, alongside the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

Tributes have been paid to the men by their families.

Mr Elmer's family described him as a devoted loving and caring son, brother and partner, who enjoyed life to the full.

An engineer, he raised money for local charities, played rugby and in 2001 he competed in the Times Clipper round the world race.

Mr Bibby, a qualified painter and decorator, was described by his family as a devoted, loving and caring son, brother, grandson and nephew who played football and pool for his local pub.

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